This notable Irish surname is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "O'Ruadhain", which translates as "the descendant of the red one". It is not proven whether "Ruadhan" (red) refers to complexion or hair, or to some notable event relating to the prowess of a warrior, but either way it is a descriptive nickname from the pre-medieval period. The clan originated in the two ancient areas known as Ui Maine and Ui Fiachrach, in Counties Mayo and Galway respectively, and even today, with some exceptions, these remain the principle places associated with Ruane. The 16th Century Elizabethan land Registers and the 1659 Petty's "census" of Ireland give the then spelling as mainly "O'Rowane" and "O'Rowghan", although there are many forms including O'Rowan, Rown, Roan and Rowan. An early example was Morietagh O'Rowane of Ballinvalle, County Wexford, who received a royal pardon on June 10th 1584; he was described as a "Gentleman". The O'Rowans of County Mayo were also described as "persons of property" in 1659, although this description would probably not have been given to Timothy Ruane, aged 22 yrs., of County Galway, who was one of the famine emigrants leaving on the ship "Barlow" of Liverpool, bound for New York in April 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Felix O'Ruadhain, Archbishop of Tuam, County Galway, which was dated 1215, in the "Register of the Irish Prelates in the Vatican", Rome, during the reign of King John of England, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Roan — Roan, n. 1. The color of a roan horse; a roan color. [1913 Webster] 2. A roan horse. [1913 Webster] 3. A kind of leather used for slippers, bookbinding, etc., made from sheepskin, tanned with sumac and colored to imitate ungrained morocco.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Roan — (r[=o]n), a. [F. rouan; cf. Sp. roano, ruano, It. rovano, roano.] 1. Having a bay, chestnut, brown, or black color, with gray or white thickly interspersed; said of a horse. [1913 Webster] Give my roan a drench. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Made of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • roan — roan1 [rōn] adj. [OFr < OSp roano < L ravidus, grayish < ravus, grayish yellow, tawny] of a solid color, as reddish brown, brown, or black, with a thick sprinkling of white hairs: said chiefly of horses n. 1. a roan color 2. a roan horse …   English World dictionary

  • Roan —    ROAN, an island, in the parish of Tongue, county of Sutherland; containing 42 inhabitants.    See Ealan Na Roan, and Tongue …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • roan — [rəun US roun] n [Date: 1500 1600; : Old French; Origin: Old Spanish roano] a horse with some white hairs, giving it a light colour >roan adj …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • roan — 1520s, from M.Fr. roan reddish brown, perhaps from Sp. roano, from O.Sp. raudano, probably from a Germanic source (Cf. Gothic raudan, accusative of rauðs red ) …   Etymology dictionary

  • roan — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of a horse or cow) having a bay, chestnut, or black coat thickly interspersed with hairs of another colour, typically white. ► NOUN ▪ a roan animal. ORIGIN Old French …   English terms dictionary

  • roan — [ roun ] noun count a horse that is black or brown with some white hairs …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • rōan — *rōan germ., stark. Verb: nhd. rudern; ne. row (Verb); Rekontruktionsbasis: an., ae., mnd., mhd.; Etymologie: s. ing. *erə (1), *rē …   Germanisches Wörterbuch

  • roan — ROAN, voyez Rouen …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

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